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MIT Police Officer Sean Collier

After more evidence testimony by a couple of FBI witnesses this morning the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev moved on to the murder of MIT police officer Sean Collier.




The last witness of the day, MIT grad student Nate Harman, pointed out Tsarnaev in the courtroom. He testified that he saw Tsarnaev leaning into officer Collier’s  squad car as he rode by on his bicycle.


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Special Agent Day

The horrific and wrenching testimony of the first three days of trial from victims and others on the scene of the Boston Marathon bombings gave way to technical details of evidence gathering. Seems every witness was with the FBI. The most dramatic moment was when bomb squad officer Todd Brown identified Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the courtroom by pointing at him.

Court adjourned early so that the judge could go take a look at the boat in which Tsarnaev hid and was captured. The government wants to cut out the sections on which Tsarnaev wrote his “confession”, while the defense wants the jury to see the entire bullet riddled boat.






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First Full Week Of Testimony Begins

Previously unseen video of Tsarnaev at the Boston Marathon were introduced into evidence and made public today.

We also heard moving testimony from two more victims.







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Powerful and Emotional Testimony

The first full day of testimony at the trial of now admitted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was intensely moving. I’ve heard equally disturbing testimony before, at the McVeigh and Moussaoui trials, but by the end of the day it was a struggle to keep it together, especially when the father of Martin Richard testified.

I’ll just post the sketches and let them speak for themselves.








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Testimony Begins In Boston Marathon Bombing Trial


The trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev finally got underway today with opening statements and testimony from the first witnesses.

It was such a busy day for me that I can no longer think straight so I’ll just post my sketches and let you read about it elsewhere.

Tsarnaev’s defense don’t dispute that their client planted the pressure cooker bomb but argue that he acted under the influence of his brother, Tamerlane. For that reason the defense  briefly questioned only one of the government’s witnesses on cross.









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Seating The Tsarnaev Jury

After I don’t know how many weeks of jury selection in the trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber finally reached the last stage today, where each side exercised their peremptory challenges. A panel of 12 jurors and six alternates was selected and will be sworn in tomorrow before hearing opening statements and the first witnesses.

Tsarnaev appeared relaxed and in a good mood as he was greeted by his lawyers in the courtroom. Later as each side huddled to decide on their strikes Tsarnaev spent most of his time scribbling on a note pad he had on his lap.

This little sketch shows U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, far left, and others waiting for court to begin. AP’s Denise Lavoie – she’d be more recognizable if I colored in her red hair – is shown standing with someone from the U.S. Attorney’s office.



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Losing Interest

Tsarnaev appeared understandably bored with voir-dire as questioning of individual jurors was repeated over and again. By day six it’s beginning to feel a bit like Groundhog Day, and may well go on till then.

Dzhokhar isn’t the only one losing interest. The networks have are now only interested in a few days of trial, so I’ll be back for opening statements, closing arguments, and perhaps a day or two of testimony.


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Observing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

As questioning, or voir-dire, of individual members of the jury pool gets off to a slow start I have the luxury of observing, almost at leisure, the defendant in the Boston Marathon bombing. I can’t report what I hear in the courtroom, but I can tell you what I see.

Each morning, before the judge takes the bench, Federal Public Defender Miriam Conrad has a friendly chat with Dzhokhar. I can’t see his expression, but she is smilling and he’s responding.

I hadn’t noticed it before, but Tsarnaev has a nasty looking scar running down the back of his neck from behind his left ear. Also, his upper eyelid is swollen and seems to bother him.

Tsarnaev often doodles on a legal pad as questioning of potential jurors drags on.

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Tsarnaev Voir Dire


Individual voir dire of potential jurors in the trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev began today and is expected to go on for at least another week.

I lucked out as I was the only media allowed in the courtroom for the questioning of potential jurors (I was later joined by my fellow sketch-artist Jane Collins). The condition was that I not report what I heard, therefor I’ll just post sketches and shut up (my hearing’s not too good anyway).





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A Better Look At Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

After two days of just barely seeing Tsarnaev through the glare and reflections in the plate glass wall of the jury assembly hall I finally found the sweet spot. For the first time I could plainly see that his left eye is partially shut or swollen.

I’m also certain he uttered something, perhaps under his breath, as the judge mentioned the death penalty. His mouth opened as he stroked his beard and his lips moved.

The lawyers will now review the questionnaires that the prospective jurors have been filling out for the past three days. Next Thursday individual voir dire will begin, and if enough jurors are found opening arguments are expected the final week in January.

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